Pompey The Great
first Triumvirate with Julius Caesar and Marcus Crassus, but later became
Pompey was born September 30, 106 B.C. His first important military
taught Pompey his military skills. Pompey distinguished himself in the civil
war between Lucies Sulla and Gaius Marius. Pompey raised his own army in
Picenum. He did such a good job raising his army he was made an imperator
general. In 83 B.C., he was sent as an imperator general to Sicily and then to
a triumph, although he was little over 25 years old and legally unqualified for
such a status.
Some years later, the senate used his aid against the remnants of
Marius’ factor. Then in 77 B.C., Pompey moved against the Marian forces
annihilate the remnants of Spartacus’s army fleeing from the defeat at Crassus
hands (71 B.C.). For his victory, Pompey celebrated his second triumph although
office of all, the consulship with Crassus as his colleague (70 B.C.). Together
they overthrew Sulla’s constitution by giving the plebian tribunes their former
In 67 B.C., the tribune Aulus Gabinius, by a bill gave extraordinary
military powers to Pompey. His objective was to deal with Piracy throughout the
Mediterranean. Pompey needed only three months to finish this task.
tribune, Pompey received even greater powers when appointed in Lucullus’s place
as commander against Mithridates the Great. With little difficulty, the new
Roman commander forced the Mithridates from Asia Minor and then spent some years
overrunning the North East. The big range of Pompey’s Journeys and his hatred
increase Rome’s dominions, and he also laid a firm foundation for Roman
administration in the area. While in Palestine, he learned of Mithridates’
suicide and some months later he returned to Italy and a third triumph. His
action in disbanding his army relieved his enemies of their anxiety at his
return, but it also persuaded the senate to refuse to approve his near Eastern
arrangements or authorize bonuses for his veterans. Pompey retaliated by
Triumvirate (60 B.C.), and promptly proceeded ratification of Pompey’s veterans.
The coalition had agreed to exile Marcus Cicero but it would not be easy. When
Caesar went to Gaul, fighting soon arose between Pompey and Crassus, and when
Pompey acquiesced in Cicero’s recall, a war seemed imminent. Caesar then
arranged the Conference of Luca (56 B.C.) to restore harmony Pompey and Crassus
commands like Caesar’s in Spain and Syria, respectively. But although Caesar
remained in Gaul and Crassus departed for Syria, Pompey did not leave Italy.
He commanded his forces in Spain by substitute.
Julia’s death in 54 (B.C.) and Crassus’s in 53 (B.C.) snapped the ties
linking Pompey and Caesar and the stage was set for their rivalry. When mob
violence prevented consuls being elected in 52 (B.C.) Pompey was appointed
consul. He quickly restored order by forcing one of the chief rioters, Titus
Milo, into exile for the murder of Publius Clodius, another mob leader.
was harmful to him. Caesar then attempted to safeguard his own interests and it
got him involve in a quarrel with the senate. This led him to being pronounced a
public enemy (49 B.C.). Pompey was invited to command the senatorial forces in
Italy, and when he accepted the mandate the die was cast. Caesar crossed the
Rubicon from Cisalpine Gaul, and a new civil war began.
Before Caesar’s veteran force, Pompey retired in March, to Macedonia
where he made a strong army. Caesar, after crushing Pompey’s supporters in
Spain, also crossed the Adriatic. Almost at once, Pompey scored a local success
at Dyrrhachium on the coast of Albania. However when he allowed his army to
engage, Caesar’s at Pharsalus in Thessaly, Greece, in August, he suffered a
Egypt, however being anxious not to offend Caesar, had Pompey kB.C.